European Curculionid Weevil  (three photos)
Gymnaetron tetrum


mullein weevil
If you find Mullein during the bloom in Utah, chances are you will find these little weevils. Mullein
in full bloom is, in my opinion, one of the prettiest plants that decorate the vast expanses on Antelope
 Island,  but in its decline it is one of the ugliest.  It gets all gooey and slimy and these little invasive
 weevils (from Europe) do their best to exterminate an invasive plant (from Europe and Africa).

mullein weevils
After watching these little weevils on their host plant, Mullein, I came to the conclusion that they believe in
wild orgies.  I don't know when they have time to eat!  They were introduced to the US to help control Mullein,
but I think the plants have caught on to this strategy because they seem to have multiplied as well.  Here's an
 article about Mullein along with information about its biological enemies. Carol Davis, 6-22-2008

Utah's solultion to the Mullein Weevil overpopulation:

robber fly with weevil
I have a special place where I love to watch the Robber Flies on Antelope Island.  They are in abundance in this area
and I found out this June day that maybe they stick around the area because of the large number of Mullein plants. 
If you look closely, you will see that the Robber Fly has captured tiny prey--yes, a European
Curculionid Weevi.
 You can see the wings hanging down from it where it tried to fly to get away.  I guess even the tiniest insects can
be used for snacking.  Loved it!  Carol Davis, 6-22-2010


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